February 09, 2010

Physical Fitness: Forget It. It's Totally Not Worth It.

Right now, this is a knee that's very, very wrong.

Seriously. Just bag it right now.

Forget about living better, living longer, being stronger. Eat Cheetos and fudge cake and sit on the couch. Seriously. Being fit isn't worth it.

Yeah, I just sprained my knee.

It's ironic: I had a workout tonight that was fantastic, until I came down off the step in a particularly inartistic manner, felt something go "pop" in my right knee, fell over, and yelled things that my Sainted Mother would be shocked to hear (or not; she's known me a long time).

Scared my trainer half to death, it did. Scared me, too: I wasn't sure if I would vomit, pass out, or cry. Then I wasn't sure I could stand up. Then, I wasn't sure if I could walk. The verdict is: standing, okay; walking, difficult; lateral movement, don't even try it. I can hobble with my knee half-bent, but I have to be careful, because it will allovasudden just stop working and I'll fall over again (hollering more earblistering obscenities).

I'm writing this Monday night to be published Tuesday morning. Come publication time, I'm sure my knee will be swollen, purple, unhappy, and I'll be at the Doc-In-A-Box, trying to get a better brace than an ACE bandage. I have to work, after all. This isn't the first time I've damaged a knee, but it's certainly the most dramatic.

So, take it from me: just give up. Don't try to be fit. Ditch the jumping jacks, the burpees, the mountain-climbers. Get sloppy and pudgy and forget about being strong. All fitness gets you is a three-inch-wide compression bandage that your neighbor was kind enough to go out to get you, two naprosyn, and a bottle of beer. (What? You didn't know that RICE involved beer? It does. Trust me on this.)

Although--and I have to give my right leg its due--if my thigh and calf muscles weren't so strong, the damage would likely have been much, much greater.

Updates to follow after I visit the doctor.


  1. You've convinced me... I'm off to get a cheesecake.

    Seriously though, I'm so sorry you're hurt. Heal up soon!

  2. I sprained my medial meniscus in June: I was on crutches for three weeks before I could put my foot down. When I started physical therapy (after two weeks) my PT was very pleased with me when I said I'd read the label on the knee brace (excuse me, "immobilizer") about losing thigh muscle while wearing it, and said "I don't THINK so" and immediately started doing leg lifts in bed. I'm back to normal now except for some yoga flexibility--and strength in side plank on that side. Getting there.

    Listen to your PT.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  3. Ouch!!! Sorry to hear about your achey knee.
    Heal up!

  4. A lovely elderly lady I knew a long time ago told me that "life is a bowl of cherries", then followed it by reminding me not to break my teeth on the stones!

    Sorry to hear you hurt and hope it heals soon. In the meanwhile, I'm limping right along with you - mine's being a pain too :-(

    Hmm, that beer treatment's sounding pretty good!

  5. @All: Thanks for your good wishes. Mary Ann, it's not *that* bad, thank Frog; it's a bit swollen and tender, but I can hobble around with it wrapped.

    Most of all, it's awkward and embarrassing. Who'd'a thunk that getting fit would be so crippling?

  6. OW!

    You're right. I'm pretty sure the "E" for "elevation" calls for beer. You can also use it for the "I" part in a pinch.

  7. Yes, I was debating skipping the morning workout to get out of the apartment and have writing time with some friends.

    Hope you feel better soon. And/or use your future crutches as weapons.

  8. Oh no... you get a purple heart for injury in the line of duty.

    Swimming, I hear, is very safe. If you can manage not to get water up your nose-- I always had trouble with that part.

  9. Sorry to hear about your knee. Hope it heals today, or sooner than today.
    As far as fitness goes, I suspected it was an overblown hype. I love how I feel on the day of a heavy workout. Then comes the next day, full of cravings, aches and pains.
    ... and then I workout again.

  10. Yeah, Larkspur has a good point: swimming. Or at least lounging about in hot tubs with a bunch of Italian soccer players.

    I'm sorry the knee is kicked up a fuss.
    As people have said previously, RICE is probably also a good idea.
    RICE: Rest Ice Complain Eat

    Sending healing-knee vibes in your direction.

  11. Oh crap, that sounds like a real pain to deal with. Exercise injuries are so unfair!

    Wish I had some good advice, but i suck at recovering from injuries. Too impatient.

  12. Ugh, my knee is throbbing just hearing about your injury. Believe me I totally understand--it's been years since my knees didn't hurt every day. My advice, do the whole RICE thing, but get yourself to a good physical therapist and work it until you're better. You'd be amazed how quickly muscle deteriorates when you can't move your leg at all.

    I'm wishing you a super speedy recovery!!

  13. Hope your knees heals quickly...

    It bites when things are out of sorts.

  14. Oy! Those damn knees. They get me every time as well. (Although usually not is such dramatic fashion.)

    Enjoy the beer. Have a few cookies for me too. We all know you'll be back at it before you know it. Exercise is it's own drug. *sigh* And it's too damn addicting.

  15. Ouchies - this does not sound like fun. So sorry about your knee - I hope the pain is easing up or the Doc-in-a-Box gives you good drugs. Crossing my fingers for a speedy recovery, Jo!

  16. OUCH!! I wish I saw this before I went to the gym. I could have stayed home and finished off the leftover carrot cake.

    Hope your knee feels better soon. Keep up with the *RICE* and beer.

  17. I feel your pain. I majiggered mine abotu 6 months ago and it's been a pain in the...well..knee off and on ever since.
    Be very very nice to it. VERY.

    I'm starting down the road to pudgeville from having my exercises of choice restricted. You don't want that. Let it heal...

  18. Hi Cranky,
    I just found your blog from Marks Daily Apple. I am new to the Primal Thing and really like your attitude. Now I read you are stopping this blog! Just my luck, I am always at the right place, but a little late. Hope your knee gets better.

  19. "No good deed goes unpunished...." I guess that applies even when the good deed is taking care of yourself.

    I hope you recover quickly.

  20. ACL. I hope you can get through this without too much trouble, Jo!

  21. Oh poor you. I'm sorry you're hurting and hope you'll be on the mend soon.

  22. I'm so so sorry about your knee. Ouch!! mine hurts just reading about it.

    Thank you so much for the advice. I've been reading about cutting calories, not cutting calories. strength training, adding cardio.....it seems so much easier to go eat a pan of brownies and be done with the whole thing. (I'd do it too if I didn't enjoy the way I've been feeling as I get fit so much)

  23. So sorry! Your frustration comes through loud and clear.

  24. Jo, you said: Ditch the jumping jacks, the burpees, the mountain-climbers.

    These are three exercises I can easily give up doing. When I exercise to Jillian Michael's DVDs, she expects me to do these things. Well, I'm 52 freaking years old and jumping jacks make me want to pee. Burpees make me want to toss my cookies and mountain climbers, well, if I want to climb a mountain I'll go check out Mt. Everest! Ya know, I think you're right - that extra weight around my middle needs feeding, not workouts!
    Anyway, I'm sorry to hear about your injury.

  25. Well all those stickers on prescription bottles say alcohol can intensify the effect right? That must mean the beer made the Naprosyn work better for you! Lol

    Hope your knee recovers quickly! I keep crutches in my trunk because of recurrent ankle injuries myself! And my clutzy habits of course.

  26. had a piece of brownie...thanks for the permission.
    I hope your knee heals quickly.

  27. Hope the damage isn't too bad. Take care....

  28. Knee injuries are a bummer.

    Did my knee in once skiing at Whistler.

    Took a lot of work to get it back in shape.

    Good luck with your healing.


  29. Cranky, I am so disappointed to read that you are signing off at the end of the month. I love your blog, mostly because it is a LOT like mine! :) We have similar writing styles, philosophies, and points of crankiness. Hope your knee feels better, been there. I am currently whining over an ear infection. :(

  30. Ouch, that sounds painful. Sending you good thoughts for a speedy recovery.

  31. It just doesnt seem fair when you're trying to HELP your body and end up hurting it! Hope you're hanging in there! Feel better!

  32. I was just looking for the 2 girls 1 cup video. Found it. Watched it. Then, googled "totally not worth it". Your site came up first. LOLz

  33. Unfortunately, you're finding out the hard way
    that "fitness" does not promote joint care or
    sustainable results. Come into the light, My Son.

  34. I'm just coming off a broken hand from a fluke accident (please don't ask). It has been frustrating. Here's the bright side. My workouts were going great prior to my little mishap. I'm healing faster than expected and will get back to where I was in far less time. Keep the faith.


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